One Second

By , plainview, TX
His cough made me a little cautious about what to do next. I wrapped him in his favorite blanket and set him in the crib. Closing the window, I saw a glimpse of myself on the glass. It was an image I knew all too well. I twisted in front of the window to get a full view of myself. Broken, and alone, the way I was when he left me to sit out in the cold and she didn’t do anything to help.


I had just got home from Ezra’s place. I was freaking out due to the half an inch baby bump that nestled underneath my shirt. He assured me that it would be okay. Little did I know; it was going to be far from okay. I entered the house to my father sitting on the couch with my step mother. He had the most disappointed look on his face like he did when he found out I quit the cheerleading squad. But this time was slightly different. It was like someone had told him there is a death in the family.


I sat across them waiting for him to talk. He didn’t even so much as look at me. I waited for what felt like an eternity before he actually spoke. His voice broke at the question that made my heart thud as if tomorrow is never going to come. My step mother glanced in my direction but quickly turned away.

“Is it true?” He asked again in an angry tone looking at my stomach. Demanding an answer, I nodded putting my hands on each side of my belly. I gazed at the bump almost smiling. This is my chance I thought. My chance to tell my own father that he is going to be a Grandfather. I looked up at him and all the thoughts of us raising this little ball of joyous life went out of me in an instant. His expression from earlier had not changed. At that moment I felt broken and alone. Ezra was not there to help me go through this with them. But a part of me was glad he didn’t have to see this.


My father gripped my arm in a tight manner and did a full thrust on my body, enough to send me flying towards the stairs.

“Get out!” He yelled.

“But Dad!” I tried to reason with him.

“No butts, get the hell out of my house!” He forced. I couldn’t believe my ears. I ran up to my room and in one motion started shoving things in my bag. I could hear him yelling after me. Telling me harsh things, like I’ll never be his daughter, or he will never take part in the abomination I have within me. I looked down on my bump again and more tears came pooring. By the time I got down stairs he already had the door open. He didn’t give it much thought to let me explain. Without effort he shoved me and all of my belongings through the threshold of the door. I turned to see his face one last time. To look in his eyes and reassure myself that my place in his heart will still remain. As it turns out, the pitch black image of me in his eyes revealed that I had become nothing. That the place in his heart where I once belonged is no longer there. I became broken and alone.


I left to the only place where I could go, Ezra’s. I saw myself through the glass door as an image of darkness. I sat on his porch steps thinking about my father and what had just happened. When I was born it took them two hours to deliver me. When I was a toddler it took him three days to teach me to walk and a couple months to teach me to talk. When I was in elementary he taught me for five years how to cheer. When I was in middle school he took one hour to get to my competition. When I was a freshman he spent an entire day informing me of the puberty rules. All of that time and effort we had together, molded me into his little girl. The one person who has never let him down. The only girl in his life he can count on. Yet it only took a second for him to throw me out. A second for him to change his mind about me. A second for my own father, my own flesh and blood to erase the special place in his heart that he had just for me and demote me to nearly a stranger. Merely a blank image at the back of his mind.


I let my tears fall and felt a sudden cold drop at the tip of my belly. I looked down and realized I’m not broken nor am I alone. I held my little baby bump with the most care and made my way inside.


Eli’s sneeze snapped me out of my flashback. My reflection on the window became full of color and life. There is a radiant glow to me that lit up the whole room. I kissed Eli’s cheek and left the room reminding myself that the place I have for him in my heart will never change no matter what.





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